Friday, July 31, 2015

Talking Stewardship!

Every year congregations will establish budgets and invite members and friends to contribute to the sustenance of that budget. As pastor I will preach on stewardship, though I don't generally teach tithing. I have members who do tithe and their commitment to giving has been a blessing to the congregation. One of the reasons I don't focus on it is that when we focus on tithing we end up focusing on rule and duty and not divine grace. Stewardship involves financial giving, but it is much broader than following a rule. As my friends declares in the video I'm going to recommend to you, stewardship is not about how much we give, but how much we keep. That is, everything belongs to God, so how much of that do we need to live on. I want to invite you to watch and consider the video below. This conversation is part of the weekly hangouts offered by Energion Publications, with whom I have published several books. The conversationists here are my good friend Rev. Steve Kindle, a retired Disciples pastor, who has written a brief examination of stewardship titled: Stewardship: God's Way of Recreating the World and Tithing after the Cross: A Refutation of the Top Arguments for Tithing and New Paradigm for Giving by David Croteau, a New Testament professor at Columbia International University.  I've read Steve's book, which I recommend, and am intrigued by David's book. What is interesting is that the two conversationists come from different theological perspectives. One is a conservative evangelical (David) and a liberal (Steve), and yet they come to similar perspectives. This is an interesting conversation, which I recommend. 

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